Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Down Under in Dunedin!

The next phase of the continuing family adventures has me down under in New Zealand with my student Geoff Hartley for the 15th International Conference on Environmental Ergonomics (ICEE) in Queenstown Feb 10-15. ICEE is my "home" conference where many of the scientists I grew up with from graduate days reside, so it really is a family reunion. It's also interesting my life evolving, from being a first-year Ph.D. student in 1994 presenting my M.Sc. project at my first-ever conference, to now being one of the senior members of the field and society.

Above is the railway station in Dunedin (New Edinburgh from the major Scottish settlement to begin the city). This is where the Taeri Gorge Railway journey begins. I took it in 2005 and it's pretty stunning.

We started with a satellite conference in Dunedin at the University of Otago, where I stayed for Feb-March 2005 with Jim Cotter during my first sabbatical. It was a fun few days of deja vu, and also far warmer than I ever recalled Dunnos being! Interesting things so far:
  • Seeing Sebastian Racinais, a French working in Qatar, wolfing down a massive plate of bacon every morning (recall that Qatar is a Muslim country, and there's only turkey bacon and beef bacon there!
  • Watching Mike Tipton from the UK try to run a tutorial workshop on cold water immersion with no prep time and none of the equipment cooperating - just like a real experiment!
  • The irony of a busload of thermophysiologists getting absolutely boiled and baked on a long bus ride from Dunedin to Queenstown under a blazing hot sun.
The main admin building at U Otago, the first uni in New Zealand in 1868